Twenty-two minutes. That's how long HBO's John Oliver spent completely eviscerating Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump in his latest segment of Last Week Tonight. The British late night TV host tackled everything from Trump's faux toughness to the candidate's claim he is completely self-funded.
"We have mostly ignored Trump on this show, but he has now won three states, has been endorsed by Chris Christie and polls showed him leading most Super Tuesday states," Oliver began his segment. The comedian noted that every GOP candidate that has swept the Super Tuesday states since 1988 has gone on to win the party's nomination. "So, at this point, Donald Trump is America's back mole. It may have seemed harmless a year ago, but now that it's gotten frighteningly bigger, it is no longer wise to ignore it."
Oliver conceded that Trump "can seem appealing" to voters who are anti-establishment "until you take a closer look." After showing clips of Trump's supporters listing the reasons why they support the bombastic real estate mogul, Oliver broke down those reasons into the facts.
On telling it how it is: "Does he? Because the website PolitiFact checked 77 of his statements, and rated 76% of them as varying degrees of false," Oliver said. The host then discussed Trump's claims that he had been invited to Last Week Tonight "four or five times". Oliver said he checked with his staff to make sure they had not "accidentally" invited the presidential hopeful and found that no one had.
"I think he just doesn't care about what the truth is," Oliver said. "Donald Trump views the truth like this lemur views the Supreme Court vacancy. 'I don't care about that in any way. Please f**k off. I have a banana.'"
Oliver then tackled Trump's assertions that he is self-funding his campaign. "While it is true that he hasn't taken corporate money, the implication that he has personally spent $20m (£14m) to $25m (£18m) is a bit of a stretch, because what he's actually done is loaned his own campaign $17.5m (£12.5m) and has just personally given just $250,000 (£180,000). And that's important, because up until the convention he can pay himself back for the loan with campaign funds."
He added that Trump himself has acknowledged that supporters have given his campaign money. Trump's campaign, according to Oliver, has taken in nearly $7.5m (£5.4m) in individual contributions.
The Last Week Tonight host also attacked Trump for his tough guy persona by giving an anecdote from 1988. That year, Spy magazine called Trump a "short-fingered vulgarian". This description has allegedly prompted Trump to send envelopes to editor Graydon Carter that include a photo showing the length of his fingers. The photos are usually accompanied by a note reading, "See, not so short!"
As for Trump's wealth and success, Oliver pointed out that the billionaire real estate mogul received a multimillion-dollar inheritance from his father and also managed to lose a lot of money. Trump reportedly values his name at $3bn (£2.15bn) and has said that everything he puts his name is "good". To disprove this claim, Oliver went on to list all the different endeavours Trump has added his name to that have not done well.
Oliver also took issue with Trump's "wildly inconsistent" stances on the issues. "He's been pro-choice and pro-life, for and against assault weapons bands, in favour of both bringing in Syrian refugees and deporting them out of the country," he said. Recently, Trump wavered in denouncing former Ku Klux Klansman David Duke.
Finally, Oliver concluded that in order to take down Trump is to "uncouple" his name from his brand. Trump, the hosted noted, was once Drumpf. "If you are thinking of voting for Donald Trump, the charismatic guy promising to make America great again, stop and take a moment to imagine how you would feel if you just met a guy named Donald Drumpf, a litigious serial liar with a string of broken business ventures and the support of a former Klan leader who he can't decide whether or not to condemn. Would you think he would make a good president, or is the spell now somewhat broken?" he said, before launching the hashtag #MakeDonaldDrumpfAgain and the website DonaldJDrumpf.com.
"We cannot keep getting blinded by the magic of his name," the host pleaded. "So please, don't think of him as Donald Trump. Think of him as something else."